Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interest and Intent to Action!

We often put up several points highlighting the amount of cards that come from each group. Although our last participation video on YouTube only included some of our Top Participants, we believe each card is important. This ranges from the hundreds that were made by DePaul University to the 12 cards made by a major fashion retailer’s employees. That’s why we have one of our hash tags, #everycardcounts.

One reason we’re so thankful for every card we receive is because we actually received it! :) Now that may seem like a simple task, but you’d be surprised how rare it is! Here’s a definition of our “conversion rate” – the amount of groups who have heard about Cardz for Kidz! and have made cards in consecutive quarters.

We want to compare our “conversion rate” with some other statistics that were pulled on 11/9/14:

Although we don’t have the exact stats, we think we’re “beating” Rich Media for a lower “conversion rate”. While looking into groups who made a card in Q3 2014, only 9% of the total participants made a card in Q2 2014 as well.

But the way we note a “conversion” is people who’ve heard of our organization and actually convert – send us their completed cards.

First, the decline is sparked by folks who heard about us, loved the idea, got folks together to make cards, but did not send us their completed artwork. :( We try to check in with groups who’ve expressed interest to see if they can send updated cards and sometimes it works. Recently we were excited when we got the following two quotes:
  • Monday, October 27th: “…let me check our collection.  We did make some during our XX event in June.  We kept the station open, so I need to see how many are created”
  • Tuesday, October 28th: “I'm actually glad you emailed me. A few months ago some of us here in the office got together to make cards and I have been holding on to them to send them to you.”

Good thing we checked! We probably would not have received those cards. Unfortunately we’re not able to contact all participants. When we include people who’ve made cards, but didn’t send them, our 9% conversion rate will definitely decline.

Then if we look a bit farther we’ve heard so many people say things such as “that sounds great, I’ll have to check with XX to see if we can do that.”  Regrettably we rarely hear back from those individuals and they never make cards. :(

So we don’t have the exact numbers, but here’s our assumption:

(9% of groups who made cards in back to back quarters) X (the percentage of people who’ve made cards, but didn’t send them) X (the percentage of people who would LOVE to make cards, but haven’t had a chance to) 

Although 100% of the people who participate have fun, we think our overall “Conversion Rate” is less than the other stats provided above.

If you could help us SEAL THE DEAL and convert INTEREST AND INTENT TO ACTION that’d be truly appreciated!!

#InterestAndIntentToAction #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on Youtube!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No More Changes

Although it’s listed on our website ( we wanted to provide you a brief ‘history lesson’ on our organization.

When the founder first started making cards for kids in 2010 it was simply for fun. He had kids from church make cards for patients at the hospital he volunteered at. Then later he took it to work. After it started to grow he decided to reach out to some of his connections to make this an official non-profit. But, first things first, he needed to create a Facebook page. He looked into different combinations of Cards (for or 4) Kids. Those were taken by a variety of different groups who did stuff ranging from playing cards (i.e. poker) to raising money for children. Next guess, Cardz for Kidz!  – completely open!

Okay so after the Facebook page was created he needed to think of a mission statement. There have been a couple and we’d like to let you know why.

There was probably a bit of assistance, but the founder originally thought of this mission statement:
Cardz for Kidz!  is an organization dedicated to uplifting the spirits of pediatric patients by delivering inspiring homemade cards.

Perfect! Since at the time we were only sending cards to Children’s Memorial Hospital (now known as Ann and Robert H. LurieChildren’s Hospital), using the words “pediatric patients” was fine. As more groups decided to participate the founder learned two classmates worked at other children’s hospitals, Advocate Children’s and La Rabida in Illinois. Those were the next two hospitals to receive cards.

Revision 1.
When he started running the first events in the office he worked with representatives from various websites to purchase lunch and/or crafts for the employees. Since there were so many companies volunteering to provide lunch and gift cards he had to decline some offers. One gentleman who offered to sponsor, but couldn’t, decided to have his son’s elementary school in Connecticut make cards in class. (Side note: they actually were the first group outside of Chicago to make cards!)


All of this happened the same year the Sandy Hook school shooting took place. We soon learned that the cousins of the little boy who made cards at his school went to Sandy Hook Elementary School. After connecting with the mother of those children we sent a total of 235 cards to those kids. That led to our first revision:

Cardz for Kidz! is an organization dedicated to uplifting the spirits of HOSPITALIZED AND/OR TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN by delivering inspiring homemade cards.

All set. That modification covers the fact we sent cards to children impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing, a school shooting in New Mexico, as well as, a shelter for abused children in California.

Revision 2.
Later we connected with an old classmate who runs the non-profit organization titled Dagbé. They provide opportunity to children affected by extreme poverty in rural Benin. That delivery led to our next modification.
Cardz for Kidz! is an organization dedicated to uplifting the spirits of hospitalized and/or traumatized children ACROSS THE GLOBE by delivering inspiring homemade cards.


Covered. So when we made a couple special shipments to other destinations in West Africa (pull the Google Map on our homepage over and you can see all the destinations). Also, our official partnership with Bernard Mevs in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti is covered in that statement as well.

Revision _
We recently thought about it, the mission statement is leaving out A LOT of the stuff we do. For example, our name AND mission statement are outdated. We ensure each hospital we partner with has at least a DVD player for kids in their playroom. If not, we are looking to provide that resource. That’s more than a “homemade card”. Then what about Cardz FROM Kidz? That’s reaching lonely seniors rather than simply “hospitalized and/or traumatized children”! That could lead to some tweaks. Then there’s Cardz WITH Kidz – that’s uplifting the spirits by directly connecting with kids, not just “delivering” those cards.

Hmmmm….okay we could definitely make several more ‘revisions’ to our mission statement. But similar to how we work behind-the-scenes to connect groups to disheartened children, our other work will remain behind-the-scenes and not expressed in our mission statement! :)

Now we’re debating if we should encourage people to use the “!” as a part of our name since it’s included in our logo. That debate will continue, but one thing we know for sure, there will be NO MORE CHANGES to our mission statement….we think! :)

#NoMoreChanges #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tell A Friend

Once again we’re starting off another blog post with some honest insight! Since we’re not running advertising campaigns or PR initiatives to promote ourselves we’re counting on you. One reason we encourage groups to host “events” is that we know one of the most effective forms of advertising is word-of-mouth. We’re hoping if we inspire one person to get a couple of folks together to make cards, it’ll continue to grow. For example, we learned that an “artist” who made QUALITY cards at St Ambrose University’s Alumni Association event, heard about us through an “artist” who made cards during a fooda event. If we don’t have an insider, you’d be surprised how difficult it is to get new hospitals and/or groups to participate and start making cards; a reason we’re thankful for our website.

There have been a couple times we’ve wondered, ‘how did they hear about us’? We remember what it was like when we heard from Harley Davidson. After some “research” we learned they saw a flyer we posted in a Starbucks store in Chicago. Then there’s the comment we saw from CNN’s Impact Your World’s Twitter account….to be honest we’re still not sure how they heard about us. Do you know?

Like with CNN, we’re always shocked if there’s a new participant we didn’t connect to directly. But we wish we were shocked more often!! J So if you’ve had fun making cards and uplifting spirits please TELL A FRIEND about us and we can impact kids together! Thanks!

#TellAFriend #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on Youtube!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Their Own

Being stats guys we’d like to provide you with a breakout of some of our top contributors as of November 2, 2014:
  2. DePaul University – 842 card
  3. Kforce – 675 cards
  4. Instituto Cervantes – 561 cards
  5. Mindshare – 478 cards
  6. Quicken Loans – 448 cards

Now one may look at the list and be a bit confused. Don’t worry; we intentionally started at #2.

What’s most impressive is that our top “contributors" are Independent Artists. Those are folks who simply make cards in their free time. That means it wasn’t necessarily a large corporation, but maybe a book club making a couple cards here or there. Overall people who’ve made cards in their free time have produced 1,556 CARDS (as of 11/2/2014).

We’ve had a variety of independent contributors (i.e. Beth Kouba), but two staples are Darcy Giovanni and Diane Kalata. Those two are some of our most valuable participants (MVPs), but unfortunately hospitals or groups don’t know them….yet! It’s really impressive that they both have made 50+ quality cards in a quarter at least once. All in all, Darcy has made 150 quality cards and Diane has made 145 quality cards; QUALITY being the key word.

In fact, one time Darcy drove to our “office” (aka old apartment!) to drop off a large stack of cards!

So she went out of her way to deliver the cards, and out of her way to create quality! Based on her ability she actually made it into one of the first Top 10s, Q2 2012

Red Card with Yellow Heart

Then there’s our other artist – Diane Kalata. What’s really impressive is that she has made it to the Top 10 the last 4 quarters! AND if that’s not enough she’s had a great time with patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital!

Flower Basket - lower left

Fishbowl - center
Blue Galaxy - middle left

Swimming Bear - middle left AND Lady Bug Hello Kitty - middle

Also, just saw one of her cards this quarter......wouldn't be surprised if she keeps her streak going! Based on those contributions we’ve invited her to come make cards with patients and everyone had a good time!

In summary, we just wanted to remind you that although we highlight the top companies, groups or universities who’ve made cards, independent artists are vital to our success. So  when you look at the participants tab on our website ( you won’t see their names, we truly appreciate everyone who make cards ON THEIR OWN...even if you don’t make 100+ like Darcy and Diane!

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on Youtube!